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100 years of Red Cross volunteers

Red Cross recognises the plus effect of a century of volunteers

Tuesday May 13, 2014

Red Cross volunteers Maggie Money, Jacquie Shocbridge, Valerie East, Thelma Keeley and Marilyn Elwers.

During National Volunteer Week (May 12-18) Red Cross thanks volunteers for the critical role they play in helping to reduce human suffering.

For 100 years Red Cross has depended on volunteers to provide comfort and relief to people in need.

Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner said today Red Cross is supported by over 30,000 volunteers around the country, plus over half a million voluntary blood donors.

"Our volunteers help us to serve breakfast to 4,500 kids who might otherwise go without, they call 7,500 elderly socially isolated Australians everyday to check on their wellbeing and make 27,000 blood donations every week," Mr Tickner said.

"Last year 2,000 Red Cross volunteers provided support to people caught up in floods, fires, cyclones and other disasters, and 130 Australian volunteers worked in communities overseas to help people achieve healthier, safer and more sustainable lives.

"These are remarkable statistics, and behind them are real people making a real difference in people's lives.

"In 2014 our volunteer base is diversifying. We have people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and gender giving their time and skills. More and more we are seeing our clients overcome challenges and become a volunteer themselves," Mr Tickner said.

While volunteer contribution in Australia is valued at up to $200 billion a year, it is all the vital social benefits they add to society that make volunteers priceless.

Having a society with a strong culture of volunteerism creates a plus effect. There are great benefits to our society and direct benefits to many organisations. There's the people who volunteers help and their family and friends, and the positive benefits to the volunteers themselves.

Read more about the plus effect of our volunteers.